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Magellan to Receive Frost & Sullivan 2009 North American Product Innovation Award; Three-Minute LeadCare(R) II Test Identifies Children with Lead Poisoning
Date:3/17/2009

CHELMSFORD, Mass., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Magellan Biosciences, an emerging leader in systems for clinical-diagnostics, will receive the Frost & Sullivan 2009 North American Product Innovation Award for LeadCare II, a rapid, point-of-care test that enables children and adults to be screened for lead poisoning faster, easier, and more conveniently. Magellan's President of Clinical Diagnostics, James Whelan, will accept the award tomorrow night at the 2009 Excellence in Medical Technologies & Life Sciences Award Banquet in San Francisco, California.

"We are honored to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes both the technical advances required in achieving CLIA-waived status for LeadCare II, and the value of the point-of-care test in meeting a critical healthcare need," said Jim Whelan. "While there has been some encouraging news about U.S. progress in reducing lead poisoning -- this crisis is by no means over. Lead contamination remains a serious problem, and current send-out and prescription-based lead testing practices are missing the children most at risk for lead poisoning. While thankfully they are few and far between, we do get reports of isolated cases, often associated with home reconstruction, where a screening test during a routine check-up identifies a child with seriously high blood-lead levels. We had one as recently as last week. The good news is that in this case, as in all the others, the elevated results triggered an immediate and comprehensive response to attend to the child's health needs and identify and remediate the source of exposure. Unfortunately, despite its proven success in improving health outcomes, across the nation there are still barriers to widespread use of LeadCare II -- from the lack of Medicaid reimbursement to outdated regulations. We continue to work with local, state, and federal officials to ensure that all children have access to the point-of-care test."

Today, there is increasing evidence that there is truly no safe level of lead for young children. The human cost of lead poisoning is devastating to lead-poisoned children and their families. The societal cost is also staggering. Even though asthma affects many more children, the total economic costs pale in comparison: nationally, it is estimated at $2 billion for asthma and $43 billion for lead. That is because the negative effects of even small amounts of lead exposure in a child's first five years reverberate through an entire lifetime. Research shows a correlation between elevated blood-lead levels and lowered IQ, behavior and learning problems, increased drug abuse and crime, and adult health problems -- from dental decay and osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even early cognitive deterioration associated with aging. Studies also show that infants and toddlers exposed to relatively low levels of lead in utero score lower on tests measuring neuro-behavioral development.

The CDC funded the development of LeadCare II as a CLIA-waived device to enable a paradigm shift in lead testing so practitioners can test, educate, and take action to confirm elevated results and treat lead poisoning if necessary -- instantly, on the spot, and all in one visit during the routine well-child check-up. Where it has been implemented, the point-of-care system provides a significant public health benefit, empowering parents and the public health community to help prevent future lead poisoning. Educating parents on the dangers of lead at the same time they see their child's lead-levels come up on the LeadCare II screen has dramatically improved overall compliance with follow-up visits and reduced future lead exposure. For example, in a Michigan county, the number of no-shows for subsequent appointments has dropped by 75 percent since it implemented point-of-care testing. The system also bolsters programs to identify and remove lead hazards.

In its write-up for the award, Frost & Sullivan states that it is: "...pleased to present the 2009 North American Product Innovation Award to Magellan Biosciences in recognition of the company's work in developing the LeadCare II system. With strong capabilities and credentials, Magellan Biosciences is presently well-positioned to carve a niche for itself by addressing the present day challenges of bulky instrumentation and complex circuitry through a product that is not complex and is affordable."

Visit www.WaivedLeadcare.com for more information and links to toy recall and lead-poisoning resources. To learn more about LeadCare II, call 1 (800) 305-0197, or e-mail LeadCareinfo@esainc.com.

About Magellan Biosciences (www.magellanbio.com)

An emerging leader in clinical-diagnostics markets for hospital-based labs and near-patient testing, Magellan serves the worldwide clinical-diagnostics market with rapid point-of-care analyzers and consumables, microbiology systems and reagents, automated diagnostic workstations, esoteric assays, and services. Scientists use our life-science tools for cutting-edge research to develop a new understanding of health and illness -- and for quality assurance/quality control applications. We design all our products to deliver better, more-reliable results. And better results help drive improved health outcomes: earlier, more-accurate diagnoses; breakthroughs that can lead to novel treatments, new cures -- innovations to enhance life. Magellan brands include LeadCare, ESA, Dynex, and TREK.

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